Carrots are a root vegetable and are often claimed as a super healthy food. Carrots are a rich source of beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K, potassium, and antioxidants. These are linked with a lot of health benefits. Carrots are sweet, crispy, highly nutritious, and low in calories. They can be eaten raw, juiced, or cooked.
The followings are the possible health benefits of carrots.
Reduces The Risk of Cancer
Test tube studies have shown that certain compounds such as polyacetylenes, beta carotene, and lutein found in carrots may protect against cancer. The diet is rich in beta carotene protects against many types of cancer such as prostate, colon, and stomach cancer. Women who eat foods rich in carotenoids have a lower risk of breast cancer.
Scientists believe that antioxidants such as beta-carotene found in carrots protect cell membranes from damage and facilitate the growth of cancer cells. Carrots also have anti-cancer properties that help stop the growth of cancer cells. Carrots are also are packed with anti-carcinogenic properties that help to stop the growth of cancerous cells.
Boosts Eye Health
The use of carrots is believed to promote eye health and improve your eyesight, especially at night. Carrots are a great source of beta carotene and lutein, which are antioxidants that can help reduce the damage to the eyes caused by free radicals. Free radicals are compounds that can damage cells, leading to chronic diseases, including aging and eye diseases.
Especially orange carrots are rich in beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to night blindness, which is often replaced by supplements.
Vitamin A is needed to make rhodopsin, a reddish-purple, light-sensitive color in your eye cells that help you see at night. A half-cup serving of carrots accounts for 51% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A that can help reduce the risk of macular degeneration, vision loss, and night blindness. When you eat cooked carrots instead of raw carrots, your body absorbs and uses beta carotene more efficiently. In addition, Vitamin A and its precursors are fat-soluble, so eating carrots with fat improves absorption.
Yellow carrots are abundant in lutein, which can help lower age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition in which your eyesight slowly fades or disappears. Foods rich in lutein can be especially protective against AMD.
Aids Weight Loss
Carrots are naturally low-calorie foods and loaded with nutrients that can help you to reduce weight. One cup of raw carrots has only 50 calories, which is only 3% of the daily calorie budget in a 1500 calorie diet. If you are trying to lose weight in the healthiest way, eating carrot sticks will help you make it possible. However, cooked carrots are slightly higher in calories, with 54 calories per cup. So, whatever type you choose, you can easily make carrots a part of your weight loss diet.
Carrots also offer a higher amount of fiber which provides you feelings of fullness for a longer time and prevents you from bingeing on other fattening foods. So eating carrots in your daily diet can be an effective way to lose belly fat.
Helps to Control Blood Sugar
Carrots have a low glycemic index (GI), a scale ranging from one to 70 plus which indicates how much a meal can raise your blood sugar. A medium carrot has only 4 grams of net (digestible) carbohydrates and is a low glycemic food. Foods that are low in carbohydrates and low in the glycemic index do not have a significant effect on blood sugar levels.
Research also recommends that the nutrients found in carrots such as vitamin A, vitamin B6 and fiber help to manage blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
Carrots, along with other starchy vegetables, are an excellent addition to a healthy diet for people with diabetes.
May Lower Cholesterol Level
Non-starchy vegetables like carrots are healthy for the heart and good for your cholesterol. This is partly due to the fact that carrots are packed with soluble fiber, which naturally helps lower your cholesterol.
Some studies suggest that eating a cup of carrots daily for three weeks can help to lower blood cholesterol levels. Carrots are also an excellent source of calcium which helps to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.
If you are dealing with high cholesterol, it is important to try to reduce it, as high cholesterol can lead to heart disease, stroke, and stroke. Dietary changes are one of the best ways that you can do to reduce LDL “bad” cholesterol levels along with other healthy lifestyle changes such as exercising, losing weight, and quitting smoking.
Protects Your Liver
The carotenoids found in carrots aids protect your liver from disease. Studies show that carrots have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help prevent non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This disease is caused by the accumulation of fat in your liver and can cause scarring and chronic damage to the liver.
Beta-carotene is also the most powerful liver cleanser and helps flush out toxins from your liver. The beta carotene and other plant-based compounds found in carrots help improve the overall function of your liver.
Improves Dental Health
Carrots are famous cavity-fighting vegetables and raw carrots act as a natural toothbrush. They contain keratin and vitamin A, which help to strengthen broken tooth enamel. Keratin also helps to get rid of plaque which damages tooth enamel and Vitamin C keeps your gums healthy. Carrots also help in the production of saliva by stimulating the gums. The formation of saliva regulates the growth of cavity-forming bacteria.
Slows Down the Process of Aging
Consumption of carrots on regular basis can help to slow down the process of aging. Because the beta-carotene found in carrots acts as an antioxidant and helps to reverse cell damage that occurs due to the body’s regular metabolism. Studies found that diets rich in carotenoids help to protect your skin from ultraviolet (UV) damage and improve skin appearance.
Vitamin C found in carrots helps to increase the production of collagen in the body which helps to maintain skin elasticity and prevent wrinkles. Vitamin A also helps to destroy free radicals which prevent aging.
Helps to Stimulate Hair Growth
Carrots are rich in Vitamin A which helps in making your hair long, thick, and strong. Carrots are also good for improving blood circulation in the scalp. Improving blood circulation in the scalp helps to promote hair growth and prevent premature graying of hair. Regular consumption of about 4 ounces of carrot juice helps in promoting hair growth and preventing hair loss.
May Boost Heart Health
Eating carrots can help lower the risk of heart disease. They are an excellent source of potassium, a mineral that plays an important role in the regulation of blood pressure. A diet rich in potassium has been shown to prevent high blood pressure and stroke. Antioxidant compounds of carrots also help to improve your heart health.
A 3-month study of 17 adults with high cholesterol and triglyceride levels observed that drinking 2 cups (480 ml) of carrot juice daily significantly increased the antioxidants in the blood and decreased the oxidation of blood lipids that may cause heart disease.
Good for Women’s Health Issues
Eating carrots or drinking carrot juice is also beneficial for women. The phytoestrogen properties of carrots help to get rid of menstruation and also control the blood for those who have more menstruation. Carrots are also good for pregnant women as Vitamin A is essential for the development of your baby’s skin, eyes, teeth, and bones. Carrots also lower the risk of fetal infection and prevent miscarriage. Carrots are also good for breast milk production.
Carrots can give a boost to your immune system. Both vitamins A and C found in carrots have antioxidant properties that can help to protect your immune system from free radical damages. Additionally, carrots are also a great source of vitamin B6 which is not important for an immune response but its deficiency is linked with weakened immunity.
The powerful antioxidants found in carrots help to lower inflammation and improve your immune functions by enhancing disease-fighting cells in your body.
Improves Bowel Regularity and Helps in Digestion
Carrots contain a sufficient amount of dietary fiber which plays an important role in maintaining good digestive health. It also gives you feelings of fullness so you end up eating less. Fiber gives your stool a larger structure so that it can pass through the digestive tract more easily and help prevent constipation.
Helps to Get Rid of Toxins
Vitamin A found in carrots helps in removing toxins from the body and also prevents the accumulation of fat and bile in the liver which helps in keeping you healthy. Carotenoids also act as an antioxidant and help detoxify your system. These antioxidants fight free radicals and help remove heavy metals and toxins from your body.
Carrots also provide enough amounts of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin K which contribute to improving bone health and help to prevent osteoporosis. A healthy a balanced diet improves your bone health.
Improves Skin Health
Carrots also contain vitamin C, which has healing properties and helps your skin recover from external damage and trauma. The beta carotene in carrots also helps reduce skin inflammation which enhances the healing process.
Eating carrots will also brighten your skin and help promote healthy skin and nails. Try eating raw carrots for more benefits.
Provides General Health Benefits
The carotenoid found in carrots helps control blood sugar and also prevents fluctuations. Carrots also contain alkaline compounds that help cleanse the blood and balance the acid-alkaline ratio in the body. The potassium found in carrots also helps control blood pressure by balancing the high levels of sodium associated with high blood pressure.
Carrots are incredibly nutritious and are considered healthy snacks full of nutrients and low in calories. They are linked with a lot of health benefits including heart and eye health, improve digestion, and also helping to lose weight. This root vegetable is available in different colors, sizes, and shapes which makes them a great addition to a healthy diet.
About the Author
Lori Bogedin is a health and wellness writer and editor of TwigsCafe.com. She is in the restaurant business since 1999. In 2016 she was named one of the "Top Women in Business" by Northeastern Pennsylvania Business Journal.